Best areas to stay in Amsterdam for clubbing
Best areas to stay in Amsterdam for clubbing

The Best Areas to Stay in Amsterdam for Clubbing

When it comes to the hottest European destinations for partying, few other towns can compete against the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.

If you read any official Amsterdam travel brochure, it will tell you that the city is famous for its breathtaking architecture, gorgeous canals, colorful tulips, and world-renowned museums.

However, in the collective mind, Amsterdam is mainly known for its liberal lifestyle, coffee shops with legal marihuana and the decadent meat market that is the Red Light District. This city is so debauchery-friendly that even its flag looks like a sex club sign!

As with most port towns, Amsterdam’s liberal mindset has been one of its staples for centuries and the Dutch live-and-let-live attitude permeates every single aspect of life in this tiny country.

Although local authorities have made a huge effort to shake the city’s reputation as Europe’s sin capital, Amsterdam today offers one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in the world.

From dancey pop to techno, from live gigs to gay bars; it doesn’t matter what you’re after because Amsterdam sure has it.

When you mix this explosive clubbing scene with breathtaking architecture, gorgeous canals, world-class museums and, yes, even colorful tulips, you have a city that just maybe Europe’s greatest.

So, if you’re planning to visit the Dutch capital for alcohol-fueled shenanigans, coffee shops with more than just coffee or raving with the beautiful people, you need to find out where to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife.

Deciding the best areas to stay in Amsterdam for clubbing will largely depend on your partying style and, obviously, your budget.

The best areas to stay in Amsterdam for clubbing

As mentioned above, choosing the right district to stay in Amsterdam will largely depend on what your scene is.

The area around Leidseplein, located south of the Canal Ring, is the place to go for your usual tourist nightlife spots, bars and clubs.

Most of the Amsterdam gay scene and other nightlife hotspots are located not far away, around Rembrandtplein.

As is to be expected, the Red Light District offers several night entertainment options, not all related to legal prostitution.

Westergasfabriek, a refurbished old factory complex offers independent shops, galleries, trendy restaurants and interesting venues with a grungy, industrial feel.

If it’s an alternative vibe you’re after, look no further than De Pijp, Amsterdam premier hipster hangout.

Continue reading this article for a full list of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam for clubbing according to your partying scene.

1. Leidseplein – The heart of Amsterdam’s nightlife

Best areas to stay in Amsterdam for clubbing - Leidseplein
Best areas to stay in Amsterdam for clubbing – Leidseplein

Leidseplein is hands down one of the busiest centers for nightlife in the city. With many restaurants bars, and clubs located directly on it or its side streets.

Historically, this busy square was the end of the road from Leiden, thus its name. Today, Leidseplein is one of the main transport hubs in the city, with several tram lines stopping here.

The Stadsschouwburg theatre and the American Hotel are two of its most prominent landmarks.

Leidseplein is home to a few important nightclubs, such as the party institutions Melkweg and Paradiso.

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Opening hours for nightlife venues in Amsterdam are usually until 3 am on the weekends, but many Leidseplein clubs stay open until 5 am.

The best part about choosing to stay in this area for nightlife is that you can reach virtually any district in the city within 30 minutes thanks to its tram connections.

The best accommodation options in this area

2. Rembrandtplein – A little bit of everything

Where to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife - Rembrandtplein
Where to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife – Rembrandtplein

Rembrandtplein is another busy nightlife spot in Amsterdam.

Named after the world-famous Dutch artist, this square, located southeast from the Amsterdam Old Town is home to several cafés, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and, of course, nightclubs.

This recently renovated square has been one of the most popular leisure spots of the city since the early 20th century when it developed into a center for nightlife drawing artists, young people, and laborers. To serve these visitors, several hotels, cafés and entertainment venues opened in the adjoining streets.

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Rembrandtplein is also one of the gay areas of Amsterdam, with serveral bars, especially around Reguliersdwarsstraat, catering to an LGBT crowd.

The best accommodation options in this area

3. Red Light District – Not your average window-shopping

Red Light District Amsterdam - Best areas to stay for nightlife
Red Light District Amsterdam – Best areas to stay for nightlife

If anything makes the Amsterdam nightlife unique it’s its world-famous Red Light District and its nearly three hundred windows where prostitutes offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, the single-room space is often illuminated with red lights.

The area also has a number of sex shops, sex theatres, peep shows, a sex museum, a cannabis museum, and a number of coffee shops that sell cannabis.

As is to be expected, the Red Light District is not the most family-friendly neighborhood in Amsterdam. However, there’s more about this area than what its call to fame may suggest.

Some of Amsterdam’s oldest buildings are located here, along with Oude Kerk, Amsterdam oldest church.

If you’re interested in random facts, the Red Light District is also home to Trompettersteeg, Amsterdam narrowest street.

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The best part about choosing to stay in the Red Light District to explore Amsterdam’s nightlife is that it’s very centrally located and you’re only a stone’s throw away from all the other neighborhoods of the city.

Another great feature is that, because its reputation keeps some of the mainstream tourists away, the Red Light District is also a place to find cheap accommodation.

The best accommodation options in this area

4. De Pijp – For organic brunches with craft beer

The De Pijp district is located just south of the Amsterdam Canal Belt and it’s known as Amsterdam’s hipster hotspot.

As with many other hipster neighborhoods around the world, De Pijp used to be a working-class district that has slowly gentrified since the 1960s to become Amsterdam’s alternative and creative hub.

The best districts to stay in Amsterdam for partying - De Pijp
The best districts to stay in Amsterdam for partying – De Pijp

Today, De Pijp is a mixture of thrift stores, cafés, brunch restaurants, street markets and craft beer pubs.

The area is also popular thanks to the Heineken Brewery and its Heineken Experience, where you can take part in a tour through the history and production of the most popular beer in Holland.

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Another popular Pijp staple is Albert Cuyp Market. It is one of Amsterdam’s oldest street markets and features dozens of stalls selling fresh produce, secondhand clothing, and antiques.

When it comes to the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam for nightlife, De Pijp maybe a more laidback option than the ones mentioned above, but we feel that being close to the best brunch restaurants on a Sunday after a crazy weekend is almost as important as being close to the clubs themselves.

The best accommodation options in this area

5. Westerpark – Chill atmosphere and energetic nights out in the west end of town

The Westerpark is located in the west section of Amsterdam.

Westerpark - Best districts to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife
Westerpark – Best districts to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife

This area’s main feature is Westerpark, an expansive green area that combines outdoor leisure and cultural activites.

Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam’s old gas processing factory was refurbished into a cultural and nightlife center that displays a varied mix of independent shops, old-school street markets, shiny new restaurants and traditional cafés.

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This entertainment complex is complete with two in-house nightclubs, FunHouse and WesterUnie.

The best accommodation options in this area

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